Sound — 10
The vocalist of TBDM describes their music as melodic death metal, and because i don't know more about the bands sound than they do, I'm gonna go ahead and agree with that. Machine like drumming, melodic basslines and fast, thrashy and sometimes technical guitar work rounded out by the amazing vocal and lyrical work of Trevor makes this, in my opinion, the best TBDM album yet. Especially now that they have Ryan Knight in their ranks, this band has come together with their first truly collaborative effort; Bart really developed his own bass style on this album, Shannon has somehow gotten faster and more precise on drums, and Brian's writing has worked in fast palm muted riffs with big, epic chord progressions. The production value of this album is really good, you can hear every cymbal hit, every bass note, every note in the chords, just a solid production effort here.
Lyrics — 10
I have to say, Trevors lyrics have always given me chills but this album highlights some of his best work. With topics ranging from cryogenic freezing (I Will Return) to birth defects (A Selection Unnatural) to evil, manipulative lovers (Eyes of Thousand) his storytelling has reached its peak. Eloquent vocabulary and brutal delivery make thee some of his most chilling lyrics yet. The lyrics to That Which Erodes the Most Tender of Things...wow. This is just creepy, a story of a mother feeding and caring for her stillborn baby in a display of unwavering love and denial that her child never had a chance to live. The sneering commentary on A Selection Unnatural ("can it feel human love but who would waste a drop on such a thing") is just amazing; this is a story of a child born with horrific birth defects (eyeless, no arms or legs, weak). Trevors lows and highs (no mids here, folks) are great, and steadily improving with each album. Since I haven't heard too many people able to roll their r's in death metal aside from him and his ability to put emotion behind his lyrics earns him a 10 in my book.
Overall Impression — 10
This has been a good year for metal (if you're not a metalhead, no worries I'm sure theres been some good stuff for you too). New Suicide Silence, Job For A Cowboy, Dethklok, Emmure, August Burns Red, Devil Wears Prada, Mastodon, etc. This has been one of my favorite albums of the year. Ryan Knights solos and willingness to actually write music has solidified the sound of this band; Shannon has come a long way since drumming for All That Remains, bringing actual groove to this album along with brutal blasting and insane double bass work. Bart's bass is mastered here; fast, heavy, but at times melodic and independent of the guitars completely. Guitar work in the rhythm section has improved just as much as the lead. And, again, the lyrics are just beautiful for a death metal album. My favorite songs are Eyes of Thousand, I Will Return, Necropolis, and A Selection Unnatural; then again, I can listen to this entire album on repeat and still love it. I'd buy it again, defnitely, because I like to support the music I love, and also its a badassed album. The dvd that comes with is pretty funny too, documenting their European tour with Ryan Knights first shows. I'm trying to stay objective here but I really can't think of anything I don't like on this album...aside from it being harder to play than Nocturnal.